Queen leads UK remembrance ceremonies

The Queen led Britain in honouring members of the armed forces killed in conflict as Remembrance Sunday services took place around the country and in former war zones today.

And Prince Harry paid tribute to fallen comrades when he returned to Afghanistan to attend a Remembrance service. He had last served in the country in January 2013.

The prince flew into Kandahar Airfield where he laid a personal wreath and gave a reading before lining up with fellow servicemen for The Last Post and Reveille played by musicians from the Royal Artillery Band.

Back in England, the Queen laid the first wreath at the Cenotaph in London’s Whitehall to commemorate those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the decades since the First World War, bowing her head after paying her respects.

Senior royals, including Second World War veteran the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge joined politicians, military leaders, veterans and serving personnel in laying wreaths of poppies at the monument.

Elsewhere, thousands fell silent at the Tower of London, where the installation of ceramic poppies proved so popular that the Government yesterday announced a permanent home for part of the artwork.

Prime Minister David Cameron described this year’s Remembrance Sunday as “particularly poignant” as 2014 marked the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings and the end of Britain’s 13-year conflict in Afghanistan.

Millions across the UK fell silent in tribute to those lost in war, joining the crowds gathered in central London who stood in a moment of quiet contemplation as Big Ben struck 11am.

Amid heightened fears of a terror attack, there was a large police presence at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, with a helicopter hovering above the site before the ceremony.

Scotland Yard said it had an “appropriate and proportionate” policing plan in place for the event, after four men were arrested in connection with an alleged Islamist terror plot on British soil on Thursday.

At the heart of the service was a two-minute silence, marked at the beginning and end by the firing of a round by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, using a 13-pounder First World War gun.

At the end of the silence, buglers of the Royal Marines sounded the Last Post.

In cool and overcast conditions, the royals and dignitaries then laid their wreaths at the Cenotaph.

Mr Cameron was first after the royals to do so, followed by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Miliband.

Former prime ministers Sir John Major, Tony Blair and London mayor Boris Johnson also took part in the ceremony.

The Duchess of Cambridge and Duchess of Cornwall watched from the Foreign Office balcony.


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